By RaeAnn Slaybaugh
If you’re like me, you’re not well-versed in “collaborative media storage.”
You might assume (like I did), That’s for the AV or IT staff to think about.
While it’s true your content creation and live production teams use collaborative media (video) storage most, there are three really good reasons that you — as a church executive — should be involved in its selection.
But first: why churches?
A member of Saddleback Church for nearly 20 years, Sean Busby, president and co-owner of DigitalGlue and creative.space, says the release of Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life impacted him hugely. Given his 24/7/365 business commitments — servicing the broadcast television network industry with customers like FOX News, The CW, Trinity Broadcasting, and American Forces Network — Busby volunteered at the church in the only way he could manage: parking cars.
In 2003, a friend introduced him to Life.Church pastor Bobby Gruenewald, who was committed to simultaneously sharing the sermon given at the main campus with two new locations. “I immediately realized we were on the same mission,” Busby says. Later that year, the Life.Church satellite network was up and running.
Soon, others — Mars Hill in Seattle, Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, Texas, and Church Unlimited in Corpus Christi, Texas, to name just a few — inquired about building the same type of network. But there were only so many churches intent on going this expansive.
Fast forward to today, with Busby’s release of an enterprise-based video storage system as simple to use as an iPhone and ideally suited to churches: the //ROGUE.
“With it, a church’s video team is finally able to collaborate quicker, producing better and more content than ever before at a price that has never been possible,” he explains. “For me, that incredible feeling of giving back is back.”
Room for improvement
Before we dive deeper into this new option, let’s look at your current collaborative media setup.
According to Busby, most churches don’t realize the impact that storage has on their content. Not having proper media storage ends up hurting the ability of editors and other creatives to make the best content. Instead of focusing on the message, teams are interrupted by laggy playback. When they want to collaborate, they have to copy data, which takes even more time away from focusing on what’s important. Technical problems become creative problems. Storage becomes “collaborative” once teams are able to work together without interrupting their creative flow.
“A lot of different software goes into providing a seamless experience,” Busby explains. “And the manufacturers leave it up to the IT team or the church’s systems integrator to work it out.”
Even with an IT staff, it can be difficult to diagnose issues as they arise. So, your church ends up paying for an engineer to troubleshoot in person.
Which brings us to the first reason to consider a new kind of collaborative storage solution…
Incentive #1: You don’t need an IT team to manage it
As Busby explains, the creative.space software makes it easy for your team to manage day-to-day operations with advanced monitoring and analytics that trigger proactive support. Plus, creative.space support manages technical issues that would normally require a dedicated IT person to resolve.
The user(s) you choose to give administrator rights will have full access to the system and deep control over space use and user management. “So, the question is more about who should be making decisions,” Busby points out. “Whoever it is, we can get them up-to-speed during the orientation call.”
Incentive #2: Getting collaborative storage right drives significant cost and time savings
Usually, to get a collaborative storage solution, the storage alone costs tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Then, there’s IT staff, the Ethernet network infrastructure, and the annual service contracts to pay for — not to mention “refreshing” your setup every five years.
By contrast, creative.space bundles hardware, software and support into a single operational expense service (OpEx) paid monthly or annually. The cost often ends up being less expensive than just the annual support investment of traditional storage solutions.
As mentioned earlier, Busby recommends the //ROGUE for most churches. Designed for two to four users, it features a portable design that can support either 48 or 64 terabytes (TB) of raw storage capacity; usable is 31TB and 41TB respectively. (For context, you could fit about 500 hours’ worth of video on 1 TB.) Uniquely, it’s the only system available for purchase — versus a managed service — and is currently offered at 0% interest financing for 24 months starting at $199 a month. This includes a free year of proactive creative.space support.
For larger teams, the //AUTEUR storage solution is a creative.space managed service. The entry-level system starts at 120 TB for $995 a month based on a three-year contract paid annually. This system can be modularly upgraded to more than 1 petabyte (PB) raw in drive space. (1 PB is equal to 1,000 TB.)
Incentive #3: The right solution ramps up your team’s creativity — and that drives engagement
Collaborative storage is all about ease of use and removing interruptions on your team’s day-to-day activities caused by technology. “As the amount of data they’re working with grows, those interruptions start changing from minutes to hours or even days,” Busby cautions.
With the right solution, they can maximize their limited time by focusing on the work that really matters and producing a higher-quality final product. This translates to better engagement with churchgoers — and increased efficiency to do it more often.
By now, you’ve had a crash course on collaborative storage and why your current solution is almost certainly not the best possible option. If you want to talk about what a transition might look like for your church (in plain English!), reach out to the DigitalGlue team at 888.519.2021, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.creative.space/contact.
RaeAnn Slaybaugh is Editor in Chief of Church Executive Magazine.